How many of us would blame Dak Prescott for being at least a bit bummed?
His Dallas Cowboys just promised four of his fellow homegrown teammates more than $185 million combined while failing to reach a multi-year agreement with the former fourth-round pick in his first offseason eligible for a new deal. The three starting quarterbacks selected ahead of him in the 2016 NFL draft have all received whopping extensions this offseason, too.
But if Prescott does feel any frustration or anger — and judging by his comfort Sunday it would seem unlikely — suffice to say he took it out on the rival New York Giants in the franchise’s greatest statistical season-opening performance ever: 405 passing yards, 4 TDs and a perfect 158.3 rating on 25 completions in 32 attempts.
Not the return of Zeke Elliott from Cabo, nor the unveilings of Elliott, Demarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith or La’El Collins on their brand new multi-year deals, or even the returns of Jason Witten from retirement and Travis Frederick from a year away with illness, could steal Prescott’s thunder Sunday.
He threw with precision and timing, looking as cerebral and in rhythm perhaps as he has in three-plus seasons in the NFL. Mind you this was Prescott’s first game working with rookie play caller Kellen Moore. Elliott has been back for less than a week. Most of the recent meetings in this series have been competitive and low scoring.
But Prescott, seemingly playing without a care in the world, led five consecutive touchdown drives to turn a 7-0 deficit into a 35-10 whitewash. He found Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup a combined 13 times for 264 yards and a score. He connected with Witten and fellow TE Blake Jarwin, and new slot receiver Randall Cobb multiple times, including on scoring plays.
It was as complete a performance as we’ve seen from Prescott.
It could be a minute with Washington and Miami up next, but Prescott surely will face tougher tests soon. But if a Cowboys organization that knows nothing if not distractions had any concerns over Prescott entering the season without his deal, he put those to rest Sunday.
And if he continues stacking these performances against better teams than the potential NFC bottom-dwelling Giants, his imminent second contract with the Cowboys should only get more expensive.